Journal of the Month>Aphra

I would have never heard of Aphra except that we had a near shelving crisis in the A’s.  Too many journals; too few shelves.   Our small 3-volume run of Aphra: the Feminist Literary Magazine landed on the shelves of my office.  As I debated the precarious future of our small run of Aphra, I noted that when it was published, in the 1970s, a library could subscribe to Aphra for a mere $5.50 per year.

Why is Aphra so important? According to the Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature’s article on Women’s Magazines:

From 1969 to 1976 the high standards of Aphra, named for the 17th-century playwright and novelist Aphra Behn and edited by dramatist and novelist Elizabeth Fisher, suited the first feminist literary journal. The makeup served an audience eager for creative writing as well as critical articles on the arts and society. Among the contributors were the playwright Myrna Lamb, author of the satiric Mod Donna (1970) and Apple Pie (1976); the novelists Marge Piercy and Rita Mae Brown; the theorist Kate Millet; and the poets Andre Lorde and Adrienne Rich.  The magazine serialized the playwright Dacia Maraini’s Manifesto from 1972 to 1973 and, in summer 1974, Daphe Patai’s essay “Utopia for Whom?”

Murphy Library holds v.3(1971)-v.5(1974), v.6:no.3-4(1976) of this important feminist title.  To learn more about feminist literature, the Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature is available in the reference section at PN471 .W455 2004


April 27, 2011. Journal of the Month, News. 1 comment.

The Joy of Working in the Trenches

After over a year of silence, I am once again inspired to write about periodicals.  Why the lack of inspiration?  Mid-life crisis, interesting state political struggles, trusted staff retiring, more emphasis on face to face teaching – the possibilities are endless!  As we still have not filled our open staff position and our lone student worker is out for three weeks enjoying a field experience, I find myself filling in as a periodicals student worker  for a few weeks.

It has been a pretty amazing experience so far.  Checking in new microfiche and microfilm titles has led me to the decision that we really don’t need to continue receiving two microform formats.  Also, I now see clearly the need for putting our microform shelflist online.

By re-shelving our current titles and gathering use statistics, I have a better sense of how our print collection is getting used (or not!).

When uploading our print barcodes to our use statistics database, I discovered that 18 of our current titles had physical barcodes that did not match the barcode in our catalog.  Meaning, of course, that these data were not being included on reports.

Small discoveries, perhaps, but ones that help me to remember that in order to have those wonderful teaching/learning moments with our users,  there is still much technical work involved in libraries, and it is important.

April 27, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.